Sunday, May 27, 2007

Tips From My Mom #1

Every morning before school for as far back as I can remember my mom would quietly enter my bedroom in the morning and bring me a cup of hot tea. She would gently place it on my nightstand, then sit on the edge of my bed. In a soothing voice she would whisper "Gary, it's time to get up. Drink your tea before it gets cold." While she said this she would sweetly touch my hair and I would look up at her through blurry eyes. I'd mutter something to acknowledge that I heard her and then she would leave to go and wake up my two brothers.

Because I didn't want my tea to get cold and out of respect for the fact that she went through the trouble to bring me hot tea in the first place I would force myself through a sleepy haze to sit up in bed. With my feet planted firmly on the floor I'd reach for the tea, cupping it in both hands, then take a sip. Most of the time I would sit there for a while staring off into nothing, devoid of any thought other than perhaps catching a few more winks.

But the tea felt warm in my hands and I didn't want to spill any of it. So slowly, oh so very slowly I entered the land of lucid thought and left behind my comfortable bed filled with a vivid array of dreams and magical adventures. In a few minutes mom would come back to check on me, ever kind, never rushed or frazzled (I am sure she was but never seemed to be) and she'd take a moment to chat with me before heading off again to check on the rest of the family. She'd ask if the tea was okay - it always was, sugar, no milk - and I'd begin to stir and get ready for school.

It's an art raising children. You find ways of getting what you want and doing the things that need to get done in ways that never let on your true plan. My mom had three boys to get ready for school and a baby daughter but she never showed us that it was too much. Mom found a way to wake us up without shouting and threats. It's so simple, bring a mug of hot tea and tell your child to wake up before it gets cold. Genius.

Thanks mom for your gentle touch, your amazing love and the belief you have in all of us. Not a day goes by that I am not grateful that you are my mom and my friend.


Reya Mellicker said...

What a wonderful way to be awakened. Hmmm. My mother slept until the last moment, then she would jump up, throw on her clothes and rush out the door to her job. As for us kids, we were on our own. We all had alarm clocks by the time we were in first grade, made our own breakfasts, chose our clothing for the day, tried to figure out what to eat for lunch.

She was wonderful in many ways. I'm not complaining at all, actually. She was kind of a nut, not too much maternal instinct, apparently!

Sebastien said...

Such a great story...

It is a beautiful thing, the love of one's parents... I feel very fortunate to have had wonderful parents.

Joy said...

I'd comment... but you already know what I'd say. So instead I'll just say: Your Mom's a peach. (tell her my hair is still red!)

d. chedwick bryant said...

What a pretty picture the cup of tea brings to my mind--your mother sounds so sweet. And looks so sweet!

My mom always got up hours before the kids, she was fully dressed-- to the nines--(she was a jackie kennedy type lookswise) --

She fixed big amazing breakfasts-- and hot (dutch) cocoa on cold mornings--and she woke us early so we could linger at the table and relax and talk.-- She had a busy day before her, and we didn't get to see much of her at all, so the breakfasts and her checking our homework at night were our special times. It was so clear she wanted us to succeed and be good people.

J. David Zacko-Smith said...

That is such a sweet story!

Oh, and "Where the Wild Things Are" is one of my favorite books ever.

Pod said...

you really look like your mum in this shot.

i like that you remember sitting staring off into nothing too. perhaps knowing that in the future, that would be a wonderful time to look back on. just soaking it in. my nan flo used to bring me tea in bed. often i would stir before and lie there with the far off sounds of spoons and china and tinkling, all warm and knowing. so comforting. of course i would pretend to be asleep when she came in and gently tugged at the bottom of the quilt. bless them. thanks for reminding me of that!

(and thanks so much for you lovely comment)

lettuce said...

this is a lovely memory, thankyou for sharing it. and lovely writing too. your mum sounds wonderful.

lettuce said...

oh, and what i came here intending to say! - have you come across Insect Lore? they do great caterpillar/butterfly farm kit things which are perfect for classrooms.

Gary said...

Lettuce - Yes I actually got my butterflies and the butterfly pavilion from Insect Lore. They are great. I am picking up that you are a teacher as well. What do you teach?

d. chedwick bryant said...

sometimes we forget all the work our parents did --taking care of kids isn't easy!--esp when they had to work long hours outside the home as well. just making sure everyone is OK, clothed and fed is work. --all the extras are gifts our parents gave.

jay said...

Mommy is amazing. she always says what a wonderful mom I am, but I dont think I can ever compare to her. She is the best and always will be. Gary we are very lucky to have her.


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